I kind of liked this little mystery book by Blue Balliett. The only problem was that I often felt like I was missing something. Maybe it’s because the ending caught me completely by surprise, though all the clues were there (in that case, I really was missing something). Maybe it’s because I just don’t put things together well (the whole book was about putting things together well). Maybe it’s one of those adult/kid things (M really liked the book).
The basic premise: a Vermeer painting — A Lady Writing — has been stolen. Demands that Vermeer’s paintings be reassessed have been issued as a ransom. Two sixth grade students — Calder and Petra — start looking at information in new and unique ways, taking no coincidence for granted, and solve the mystery finding the painting and catching the thief in the end.
Now that I write that out, maybe it’s just too unbelievable to make for a good story for an adult. I mean, really, could two 11-almost-12 year olds put all this together? Probably not, but I guess it’s kind of fun to think so. At least for the kids reading it. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be the big hero and solve the big mystery and get their names in lights (there was a nice bit about just that in the book)? So, call it an escapist-fantasy-mystery book. Great for 10-12 year olds. Probably a bit much for their parents.